Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 2256–2260 | Cite as

Parathyroid Cryopreservation after Parathyroidectomy: A Worthwhile Practice?

  • Kevin Shepet
  • Amal Alhefdhi
  • Reid Usedom
  • Rebecca Sippel
  • Herbert Chen
Endocrine Tumors



Parathyroid cryopreservation is often utilized for patients having parathyroidectomy. This allows for future autotransplantation if a patient becomes permanently hypocalcemic after surgery. However, the practice of cryopreservation is costly and time-consuming, while the success rate of delayed autotransplantation is highly variable. We sought to determine the rate and outcomes of parathyroid cryopreservation and delayed autotransplantation at our institution to further evaluate its utility.


At our institution, 2,083 parathyroidectomies for hyperparathyroidism (HPT) were performed from 2001 to 2010. Of these, parathyroid cryopreservation was utilized in 442 patients (21 %). Patient demographics, preoperative diagnoses, and other characteristics were analyzed, as well as the rate and success of delayed autotransplantation.


Of the 442 patients with cryopreservation, the mean age was 55 ± 1 years and 313 (70.8 %) were female. A total of 308 (70 %) had primary HPT, 46 (10 %) had secondary HPT, and 88 (20 %) had tertiary HPT. Delayed autotransplantation of cryopreserved parathyroid tissue was used in 4 (1 %) patients at an average time of 9 ± 4 months after initial surgery. Three of the 4 patients remained hypoparathyroid after this procedure. The single cured patient underwent the procedure only 4 days after the initial parathyroidectomy.


Although cryopreservation was used in over one-fifth of patients undergoing parathyroidectomy, the need for parathyroid reimplantation was very low (1 %). Furthermore, the success rate of parathyroid autotransplantation was poor in these patients. Therefore, the continued practice of parathyroid cryopreservation is questionable.


Parathyroid Gland Parathyroid Tissue Permanent Hypoparathyroidism Total Parathyroidectomy Invasive Parathyroidectomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Supported in part by University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery NIH T32 Training Grant (5 T32 DC 9401-2) and an American Cancer Society MEN2 Thyroid Cancer Professorship.


The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Shepet
    • 1
  • Amal Alhefdhi
    • 1
  • Reid Usedom
    • 1
  • Rebecca Sippel
    • 1
  • Herbert Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Endocrine Surgery, Department of SurgeryUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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